The Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest |
Your shopping cart is empty.


The Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest

fountain pen

Deadline: MARCH 31, 2023

Entry fee: $10 Academy members / $15 non-members

Contest judge: Nikki Wallschlaeger

First-place winners of the Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest will receive a one-week artist residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point. Winners will receive $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place) and read their work at the 2023 Wisconsin Book Festival. First- through third-place winning poems will also be published in print and online issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine. 


Poets must be age 18 or older and reside or attend school in Wisconsin. All submissions must be original and previously unpublished. One entry consists of up to 3 poems. You may submit more than one entry; each entry must include its own cover page and entry fee.

Current Wisconsin Academy staff, board, and Foundation board members are not eligible. If you have questions about eligibility, please contact editor Christopher Chambers.

Submission Guidelines

  • Cover page with author's name, address, phone number, email address, and poem titles
  • One (1) poem per page, up to three (3) poems per submission
  • Typed, single-spaced
  • 12-point serif typeface (Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.) 
  • 1” margins 
  • 45 lines maximum per poem (including lines between stanzas).
  • Do not include your name on the manuscript pages. 

Print or electronic submissions will be accepted. 

Electronic Submissions

Electronic submissions (and judging) will be managed via AirTable. After registering, participants will receive a link to submit their poems.

Register Now!

Print Submissions*

Print submissions must be postmarked, delivered, or date stamped by 11:59 pm on March 31, 2023 (extended 2 weeks!). Submissions postmarked or hand-delivered after the deadline will not be considered and the entry fee will be retained to cover handling.

Keep a copy of your manuscript! Print manuscripts will be recycled, not returned. If you want to save paper, please consider an online submission.

*Every contestant must be able to provide an electronic version of the poem via e-mail if needed.

Entries may be mailed or hand-delivered to 

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
1922 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53726

Contest winners will be announced by July 1, 2023.

All submissions are judged blindly and the selection of the winners is based solely on the criteria of the contest judge. First- through third-place winning poems—along with another selected by editor Christopher Chambers—will appear in the Fall 2023 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas. Honorable mention poems selected by the lead judge will be published in subsequent issues of the magazine.

2023 Poetry Contest Judge

Nikki Wallschlaeger is the author of poetry collections, Houses (Horse Less Press, 2015), Crawlspace (Bloof Books, 2017), and Waterbaby (Copper Canyon, 2021). Her books include an artist book, Operation USA, through the Baltimore-based book arts group, Container (a project acquired by Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee). She is the author of poetry chapbooks, Pizza and Warfare (Garden Door Press, 2017), I would Be the Happiest Bird (Horse Less Press, 2015), as well as the graphic chapbook I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (Bloof Books, 2019). Her work has been featured in the Nation, Brick, American Poetry Review, Witness, Kenyon Review, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and elsewhere. She was a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2021-2022, and lives in the Driftless region of Wisconsin.

Contact Us

Follow Us

Wisconsin Academy Offices 
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery 
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25